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Ascent

adam kerbel · Ages 13+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by anonymous

June 16, 2017 certified reviewer

What I liked

I heard Leonard Cohen playing from the street. If I didn’t have a ticket already, I would have been drawn inside by the energy of the box office. This show was a true surprise-FINALLY, something captivating and original! A delightful surprise.

Adam Kerbel and Shih-Wei Willie Wu exemplify a perfect yin and yang. When Adam goes dark, Willie turns on the lights. (Sometimes literally!)

The performers are in constant communication with one another-through movement, sound, occasional dialogue, and most often in a way you can’t quite put your finger on. They are as connected as friends on a playground with a secret language. I’m grateful I had a glimpse into their recess. It’s so rare to witness honest, private moments on stage. I had the sense that whether the audience were present or not, Adam and Willie would continue to play.

Kerbel’s storytelling often had my heart breaking, until Willie relieved the audience-and Adam-with his infectious smile and down-to-earth comedy. The pendulum of the yin and yang swung back and forth between the two. Adam had us floating in the air. Willie helped us land. His beating of the drums made my heart race and my jaw drop. At one point, his energy became so intense it seemed as if he were striking his own mind. See for yourself.

Adam’s movement was the most interesting piece of this “dance.” His body’s natural ability, coupled with (I assume) A LOT of training, helps him move in a way I’ve never seen before. He is able to walk backward in a backbend from standing. His arms stretch outward, and his head falls so far back his eyes must gaze and the floor beneath him. At one point, he fell to the ground-straight as a board! SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT!

What I didn't like

There is a bar on one of the stage which limits the view of one seat in the audience. Get there early!

My overall impression

GO!

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